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More than 150 volunteers, including many from San Juan’s Community Emergency Response Team, installed smoke alarms in condos in the La Zanja neighborhood on Feb. 21. By Allison Jarrell
More than 150 volunteers, including many from San Juan Capistrano’s Community Emergency Response Team, installed smoke alarms in condos in the La Zanja neighborhood on Feb. 21. Photo: Allison Jarrell

By Allison Jarrell

In an effort to reduce the risk of deaths related to home fires, more than 150 volunteers from organizations including the Orange County Fire Authority, Orange County Sheriff Department, American Red Cross, San Juan Capistrano CERT, Mission Basilica, OC TIP, CREER and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, went door-to-door Saturday morning offering to install free smoke alarms in San Juan Capistrano’s La Zanja neighborhood.

The effort, which was in partnership with the city of San Juan Capistrano, was in response to the devastating Jan. 20 La Zanja condo fire, which claimed the lives of a young mother and her two sons—Maricela Sanchez, 20, Jaiden Liborio, 3, and Iker Liborio, 2. The fire resulted in an estimated $40,000 in damages to the contents of the two condo units involved, and a total of 80 people, residing in eight units at the complex, were displaced.

Many volunteers from San Juan Capistrano's Community Emergency Response Team helped install smoke alarms in condos in the La Zanja neighborhood on Feb. 21. Photo: Allison Jarrell
Many volunteers from San Juan Capistrano’s Community Emergency Response Team helped install smoke alarms in condos in the La Zanja neighborhood on Feb. 21. Photo: Allison Jarrell

Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Steve Concialdi said Kidde Fire Safety Products donated 5,000 smoke alarms to OCFA, of which 700 were installed on Saturday. Concialdi said fire alarms were placed in bedrooms, hallways and garages, and batteries were also replaced for free.

More than half of the condos have yet to be visited, as volunteers ran out of time to finish installing the alarms. Officials met Feb. 26 and decided to complete the effort in the La Zanja neighborhood on Saturday, March 14.

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